A cat has caught Covid-19 from its owners in the north, according to the University of the Middle East’s Experimental Health Sciences Research Institute (DESAM).
According to the researchers quoted in the Turkish Cypriot media, a family that tested positive for variant B.1.1.7 of SARS-CoV-2 infected their cat within the first ten days.
Studies have shown that pets can become infected with the virus three to six weeks after exposure. However, Turkish Cypriot media claimed that this incident was the first time human-to-animal transmission has been observed in such a short period of time.
The cat showed clinical symptoms, including heart and eye abnormalities, researchers said.
Meanwhile, other people who came into contact with the infected cat are also being monitored by the university’s professors as their owners entrusted the care of their pet to another family after the diagnosis.
“We also follow people who come into contact with the cat infected with the British variant,” said Dr. Tamer Şanlıdağ across from YeniDuzen.
Another study, published on Science magazine’s website in April, suggested that cats can be infected with the new coronavirus, but dogs do not appear to be susceptible.